Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I kind of take it for granted that our great-grandchildren will regard us as a sort of precursor species. That they won't think of us as human and if we could see them, we probably wouldn't think of them as human either."
- William Gibson

Joymaker  
  A networked personal digital assistant - that really is an assistant.  

This is a remarkable (and early) description of a wirelessly networked personal digital assistant. The device is only part of the story; the networked computers that ran these devices had a high degree of artificial intelligence.

The principle of it was clear enough. It was a remote input-output station for a shared-time computer program, with certain attachments that functioned as pocket flask, first-aid kit, cosmetics bag, and so on. It looked something like a mace or a jester's scepter.

The remote-access computer transponder called the "joymaker" is your most valuable single possession in your new life. If you can imagine a combination of telephone, credit card, alarm clock, pocket bar, reference library, and full-time secretary, you will have sketched some of the functions provided by your joymaker.

Essentially, it is a transponder connecting you with the central computing facilities of the city in which you reside on a shared-time, self-programming basis. "Shared-time" means that many other joymakers use the same central computer - in Shoggo, something like ten million of them. If you go to another city your joymaker will continue to serve you, but it must be reset to a new frequency and pulse-code. This will be done automatically when you travel by public transportation. However, if you use private means, or if for any reason you spend any time in the agricultural areas, you must notify the joymaker of your intentions. It will inform you of any steps you must take.

"Self-programming" means that the programmed software includes procedures for translating most normal variations of voice, idiom, accent, and other variable modalities into a computer-oriented sim-script and thence into the mathematical expressions on which the computers operate. As long as your personal joymaker is within reception range of your voice, you may communicate via other shared-time transponders if you wish. Appropriate modulation will be established automatically. However, do not attempt to use another individual's joymaker when yours is not within range. Proper conditioning cannot be assured. In the event that your joymaker is lost or damaged ...

From The Age of The Pussyfoot, by Frederik Pohl.
Published by Ballantine in 1966
Additional resources -

This quote comes from an "owner's manual" that is presented to the novel's protagonist.

Note that it works solely with a voice-activated interface.

Joymakers had a variety of amazing functions, most of which are unique predictions by Pohl; see these links for details and quotes for the different joymaker functions:

In his "afterword" for the book, Pohl himself provides a likely timeframe for this piece of technovelgy:

"I do not really think it will be that long. Not five centuries. Perhaps not even five decades."
Looks like we're right on time.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Age of The Pussyfoot
  More Ideas and Technology by Frederik Pohl
  Tech news articles related to The Age of The Pussyfoot
  Tech news articles related to works by Frederik Pohl

Joymaker-related news articles:
  - Cellular Phone Robot And iPhone - Joymaker Wannabes
  - GOOG-411 Google's Free Talking Phone Search
  - Wellness Mobile Phone Personal Trainer In A Cellphone
  - DoCoMo S0703i Smellular Phone Makes Scents
  - Ribbit Amphibian Cellphone Internet Mashup
  - iPhones For Freshmen At ACU
  - What Apple Could Learn From SF: iPhone As Mediator
  - SIRI Virtual Assistant Like Pohl's Joymaker
  - How Smart Is Siri?
  - Cortana, Your Personal Assistant

Articles related to Engineering
Turing's Nose - Was That Scent Real Or Artificial?
Cost Effective Smart Windows To Replace Curtains?
Autonomous Tractor Harvest-Ready
AgileQuad Object Avoidance Drone

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

SpotMini Robot Pierson's Puppeteer-Style
Now they're kind of cute, right?

Brick By Brick, Building Martian Bases
Don't try to boost everything from the surface of the Earth.

Elon Musk et. al. OpenAI Household Robot
'Any work a human being does around a house.'

BRUISE Smart Injury Detection Suit
'... Bee could see that three of them were disabled and two of them damaged.'

Tesla Model S Is Also A Boat (Sort Of)
'This Dick Dare contraption of yours...'

Promobot, The Runaway Russian Robot!
'Got yourself a runaway, Jack?'

Rowbot Small Autonomous Farm Robot
'...The tiny red glints of self-guided tractors.'

Amazon's Alexa To Recognize Emotions
Oh, Hal understood their emotions, all right.

Cool 'Single-Person Spaceships' Have Better SF Name
'A cabin so small, you couldn't stand up with the air lock closed..'

First Robot Suicide Has Science Fiction Roots
'What had happened to prevent my death?'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.